Photo by George Hipple Photography
Buffalo Bill Rodeo steer wrestler, 2010
Samantha Chytka of Broken Bow, 2013 Miss Rodeo Nebraska
Samantha Chytka of Broken Bow was crowned Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2013 on the first night of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo, and the crowd was treated to a hometown bull riding star.
Sutherland cowboy Trey Kerner was the only bull rider to make the eight second buzzer.
The 20-year-old grew up north of Sutherland and began riding calves when he was four, progressing to steers and then bulls. He was the 2010 Nebraska High School Rodeo champion during his senior year and finished seventh in the nation that year.
In high school, Kerner rode barebacks and saddle broncs in addition to bulls. But during his professional rodeo career, he’s chose bull riding only.
“I crave it,” he said. “It’s a rush.”
And he’s not fond of the bucking horses.
“Them horses are big and scary," he said.
In bareback riding, Joe Gunderson scored 86 points to set the pace for the four-day rodeo.
When Gunderson found out the horse he’d drawn was the Beutler and Son Rodeo Co. horse 010 Little Mary, he called a buddy.
“I’d never been on that horse before, and didn’t know what she (was like.)” He called his traveling partner, Tilden Hooper, who had ridden her and knew her habits. “He said, she’d come around to the left. That was my game plan, and it all worked out.”
North Platte’s rodeo is Gunderson’s second round of good luck. After a slow winter of rodeo, he did well last week and Wednesday's ride continues his streak. He had knee surgery last fall, which put him out for four months, and sitting out of rodeo made him hungry for it.
“For sure, sitting at home and watching everybody ride, I was thinking, I need to be back out there,” he said.
The Agar, S.D. cowboy qualified for the 2010 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and was on track to compete at last year’s WNFR but the knee injury kept him out.
In the steer wrestling, the fastest time so far was turned in during slack on Wednesday morning.
Freedom, Okla. cowboy Ryan Swayze turfed his steer in 3.9 seconds.
Swayze is riding a new horse that he trained and seasoned on the rodeo trail last year. The horse, a nine-year-old gelding named Sleepy, has been an asset.
“He’s sure let me step up my bulldogging from a circuit guy to going to some bigger rodeos.” With Sleepy as a partner, Swayze qualified for the big winter rodeos, including San Antonio and Austin, Texas.
“That was my first time to go to several of those rodeos. I think he’s the biggest reason I could go more and win more,” he said.
Swayze ranches with his family in Oklahoma.
The 2013 Miss Rodeo Nebraska was crowned, with the tiara going to Samantha Chytka.
The second of four nights of rodeo takes place Thursday, June 14 at 8 pm.
Fans are encouraged to wear pink to show awareness of breast cancer, and proceeds will be donated to the Callahan Cancer Center in North Platte.
Tickets are $13 for adult general admission and upper grandstand and $7 for kids. Reserved seating in the lower grandstand is $20 per ticket.
First performance & slack
2012 Buffalo Bill Rodeo
1 Joe Gunderson, Agar, SD 86 points on 010 Little Mary; 2 Ty Breuer, Mandan, ND 83; 3 Joe Wilson, Kyle, SD 51; no other qualified rides
1 (tie) Jerrad Hofstetter, Portales, NM, 9.5 and Cody Quaney, Cheney, KS 9.5; 3 Cory Solomon, Prairie View, TX 10.0; 4 Joey Dickens, Loveland, CO 10.5; 5 Brice Ingo, 10.7; 6 Chris Neal, Muldrow, OK 10.8;
1 Ryan Swayze, Freedom, OK 3.9; 2 Trevor Cox, Purdum, NE 4.0; 3 Jake Rinehart,Highmore, SD 4.1; 4 Carver Abbot, Gordon, NE 4.2; 5 Todd Suhn, Hermose, SD 4.3; 6 tie Shane Henderson, Winfield, KS 4.5, Brent Sutton, Onida, SD 4.5 and Stockton Graves, Newkirk, OK 4.5
Saddle bronc riding
1 Blaze Hamaker, Centennial, WY 78 points on +365 Nevermind; 2 Townsend Prince, Livermore, CO 67; no other qualified rides
1 Garrett Nokes, McCook, NE and Matt Wilken, Smithfield, NE 5.4 seconds; 2 Jeff Johnston, Thedford, NE and Dustin Harris, O’Neill 6.2; 3 Terry Graff, Long Pine, and Todd Hollenbeck, Long Pine, NE 6.5; 4 Paul Beckett, Laramie, WY and Mark Kersting, Wheatland, WY 9.4
1 Mary Burger, Pauls Valley, OK 17.46; 2 Carol Chesher, Stratford, TX 17.74; 3 Kaley Bass, Davenport, FL, 17.77; 4 Tamara Reinhardt, Canadian, TX 17.88; 5 Mandy Rollman, Lingle, WY 18.03; PJ Burger, Pauls Valley, OK 18.09.
1 Trey Kerner, Sutherland, NE 65 points on -752; no other qualified rides.
All results are unofficial.